No One Asked Me

My area is seeing a low (but steady) rise in new COVID-19 diagnoses (mostly in the 20-40 year old demographic). School starts back in four weeks. I enjoy my work as a technology resource teacher. But, no one has asked me what I thought about teaching remotely or face-to-face.

Forget politicians and health advisors. How am I to mitigate between parents who vociferously pontificate their opinions regarding distance learning vs. face-to-face learning, temperature checks and wearing a mask, political hoax vs. science, and, and . . ? Let’s not forget class disruption as students defend their parents’ viewpoints.

I am not an economist, health care, nor sanitizing professional. I realize the economy is in the tank. Parents need to get back to work. I’m aware that the young are less susceptible and have fewer complications. Will I have ample time to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect (two very different things) EVERYTHING between classes? Will I be held liable if a child in my class tests positive for COVID-19? In addition to wearing a mask; should I wear gloves? a face shield? a gown? I’ve read the “suggestion” for those educators who’ve voiced concerns . . . However, I do not want to take an early retirement. I also don’t want to unknowingly jeopardize my at-risk love ones.

No doubt about it; our students received an emotionally stressful, equitably questionable education the past few months. There is worry of falling “behind” (but honestly, are we not all in the same boat worldwide?). Learning centers all over the world are struggling how to proceed between the science, politics, and threats.

Will educators be considered “essential” and receive hazard duty pay? Will teachers be paid overtime if the district decides to split the day into AM/PM hours? Will the district pay a teacher’s medical or funeral bills for an at-risk family member?

No one asked me. But if they did; I would ask in return, “Which is more important: face-to-face/5-days-week education or a teacher’s emotional and physical health?” Or, is the economy the only barometer?

Have a great week! — Joanne